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The Dorian in St. Vincent's Dorian Gray Will Be a Woman

Image via Getty
Image via Getty

Did you ever read Dorian Gray and think, damn, as someone who will eventually become invisible to a society that only cares about women when they are young and fuckable, I deserve that magic painting more than this man? Well, St. Vincent heard you, because she’s directing an adaptation in which Dorian is a woman.

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Variety reported that the musician will be directing the movie based on Oscar Wilde’s book and the script will be written by David Birke who previously wrote the script for Paul Verhoeven’s Elle. If you happened to catch St. Vincent’s creepy and beautiful-looking directorial debut short “Birthday Party” in last year’s all-female horror anthology XX, you’d know she’s perfect for the job.

Now, I have to be honest and say that when it comes to all-female adaptations of traditionally male productions (Ghostbusters, Ocean’s Eight), which are trendy right now, I don’t reeeally care? I just always end up wishing women would get their own original vehicles rather than piggy-backing on a franchise. But while I’m not exactly out here yelling for women to play parts that have traditionally gone to men, Dorian Gray seems like it has the potential to be excellent.

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Men already think women are “tricking” them through make-up and surgery and botox, anyway, so I’m happy to add “haunted paintings that absorb your true age and allow you to live beautifully forever” to the list!

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

I love Dorian Gray, but my feelings about this are mixed.

On one hand, awesome, why not? On the other hand, it could also so easily fall into tropey trope land for any one of the overused femme fatale or Scary Monster Lady stereotypes (just to name two).

There’s a lot to explore within society’s expectations of age and beauty and behavior, especially for women, but it’s also easy to take shortcuts and lean hard on the kind of stereotypes that only reinforce those expectations, or turning gender into the “Hey, guys! Look what we’ve done!” pivot on which the story turns instead of focusing on the actual story.

I’m hoping the writing and directing is deft enough to avoid that. If it works well, it’s going to be amazing. But I think it’s going to be tough to hit the right tone.